Volume 38, Issue 5, May 2003


Survey Shows Construction 
Industry Work Continues to Slow

A recent survey conducted by the Association of Project Managers (APM) revealed that the slowing economy is affecting construction-related work.

The last survey was in 2001 and, according to the association, since then the construction economy has performed better than the declining economy as a whole. But as the 2003 study shows, industry experts predict a continued slide that is not expected to turn around quickly.

In addition, the study showed that of 38 member design, construction and owner/client organizations, turnover among project managers has dropped, with 54.5 percent of the firms that participated reporting any project managers leaving in the past year. This compares to 2001’s figure of 90.5 percent. Survey organizers say the drop is most likely due to the lack of other employment opportunities. Salaries had not increased either since the last survey, with the median salary of project managers participating in the 2003 survey being $65,000.

Likewise, the survey also revealed that project managers are concerned with a number of issues (see chart).

Other survey findings included the following: median number of years of professional experience, ten; median age of participants, 40; age range of project managers, 30 to 55; firms only spend 1 percent of total revenues annually on staff training; experts recommend 3 to 5 percent to maintain an organization’s quality, standards and performance.

Significant Project Management Problems

Problem Percent of Firms
1. Tracking/controlling work 26.32
2. Communication issues 21.05
3. Need to standardize/structure PM program 21.05
4. Time management 21.05
5. Staff and PM knowledge/experience 18.42
6. Staffing issues (insufficient number to do work) 15.79
7. Scope creep/change orders 10.53
8. Senior manager meddling 7.89
9. Insufficient fees 7.89
Source: Association for Project Managers

Rockford Glaziers Settle Strike
A strike by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local 1355 in Rockford, Ill., lasted seven days, from April 7 to April 14. The union struck on economic issues surrounding a five-year contract that ended April 1, according to Jamie Davis, organizer for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades/District Council 30 whose jurisdiction also covers local 1355. Davis said the glaziers were bargaining a new contract with the eight local contractors with which it works, but could not reach an agreement. 

According to Angelo Bruscato of Cardinal Glass Co. who represents the contractors, the strike ended when the glaziers and contractors reached a compromise that would give the glaziers an increase of 3 ½ to 4 percent over the next five years.

The glaziers’ original proposal was for a 4- to 5-percent increase. Their hourly rate of pay will now be $35.18.


Contract Glaziers: Speak Your Minds

USGlass magazine is once again preparing to conduct its biannual contract glazing survey, which will be mailed to 7,500 glaziers. The survey has become the definitive source of information about the contract glazing industry. It includes difficulties those in the contract glazing industry are facing, problems and challenges, as well as an assessment of their working relationships with architects and specifiers.

The survey information is combined with other survey respondents to help us better plan and meet your needs through editorial content and educational programs. All information provided will be kept completely confidential, and will not be released in connection with company names. 

Survey results will be made available to glazing contractors. Watch for your survey in the mail!

Bill Re-Introduced to Eliminate Bid Shopping 
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) has re-introduced legislation with bill H.R. 1348 that would prohibit “bid shopping” on federal construction contracts. 

“Bid shopping threatens the integrity of the competitive bid system and reduces the quality of work performed by American taxpayers,” said Kanjorski. “My bill would ensure that contractors maintain the quality of work promised in their initial bids to the federal government. It would restore fairness and stability to the construction industry.”

According to information issued by the American Subcontractors Association (ASA), the bill states that no party, including the government, prime contractors and subcontractors, will engage in bid shopping, or they will face penalties of liquidated damages. If three or more violations occur within a five-year period, they may face possible debarment. The bill would prohibit equally all forms of bid-shopping, and would eliminate online “reverse auctions” for federal construction.

The legislation defines bid shopping as “the practice of divulging a contractor’s or subcontractor’s bid or proposal or requiring a contractor or subcontractor to divulge its bid or proposal to another prospective contractor or subcontractor before the award of a contract or subcontract in order to secure a lower bid or proposal.”

Briefly …
ASA has updated its Lien and Bond Claims in the 50 States and District of Columbia CD-ROM to include lien and bond law changes that took place in 2002 …



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